Impact of a parent’s disability on the family

ANZ-commissioned research shows the impacts of parental disability are far reaching.

I hope you’ve had a chance to read through the research ANZ commissioned into the Impact of Death of a Parent on surviving partner and children, and have been able to use the insights in your business.

Earlier in 2015, we commissioned Ipsos to research the impacts of parental disability on the family unit, and whether having insurance reduced the level of difficulty experienced. The research is a first for ANZ and provides real-time insights into the effects on financial security, children’s health and education and family life that happened when one parent could no longer work due to a disability.

We have been heartened and saddened to see the relief insurance gave those who were covered, and the extra stress and pressure felt by those who weren’t.

Some of the major findings are below.

  • Little to no warning – 46% had less than a week’s warning, and 33% had no warning at all
  • 75% of those without TPD or Income Protection cover agree that in hindsight a policy covering disability would have helped
  • 30% of children suffered from a mental health condition at some stage after their parent became disabled
  • 11% of those without insurance rated their finances as ‘struggling’ before the disability, after the disability began this number rocketed to 62%
  • 1 in 4 parents stated that their children (aged 14+) took on a job due to financial pressure
  • Over 1 in 4 families had to move after the disability due to financial pressures.

It was upsetting that my mum wasn't like all the other mums and couldn't participate in some important aspects of my life. I feel she has missed out on things. Child – Family without insurance

So what does the research tell us?  The financial and emotional impacts are many however, of those surveyed families with cover felt these impacts less keenly than those with none. While all families underwent changes, families with life insurance were more likely to stay in the family home and increase the amount of time they spend together, plus the carer parent was able to reduce working hours to look after their partner and children.

Sadly, many families were blindsided by an illness or injury that resulted in a parent permanently stopping work. With few people having the opportunity to prepare in any way, insurance can be one of the simplest way to safeguard their family’s financial future.

You’ll find many more insights and information in this report, and we hope you find it useful during conversations with your clients.  


September 2015